Most students report that it was ‘the best year of their lives’. As well as the benefits of experiencing another country’s education system, and the academic subject being viewed from a different angle, your experience of the social dimension of the period abroad will be one to remember.
Employers value the skills that are gained while studying abroad: flexibility, maturity, experience of another culture, language skills and, as less than 5% of UK students currently take up the offer of exchange opportunities, it will stand out on a CV. What are you waiting for?
10 reasons why you should study abroad
1. International Exchange Programme (IEP) provides the opportunity to travel. Since studying abroad often puts you on a completely different continent, you are much closer to places you might otherwise not have had the opportunity to visit.
2. IEP allows you get to know another culture first-hand. Cultural differences are more than just differences in language, food, appearances, and personal habits. A person's culture reflects very deep perceptions, beliefs, and values that influence his or her way of life and the way that s/he views the world. Students who experience cultural differences personally can come to truly understand where other cultures are coming from.
3. IEP will help you develop skills and give you experiences a classroom setting will never provide. Being immersed in an entirely new cultural setting is scary at first, but it's also exciting. It's an opportunity to discover new strengths and abilities, conquer new challenges, and solve new problems. You will encounter situations that are wholly unfamiliar to you and will learn to adapt and respond in effective ways.
4. IEP affords you the opportunity to make friends around the world. While abroad, you will meet not only natives to the culture in which you are studying, but also other international students who are as far from home as yourself.
5. IEP helps you to learn about yourself. Students who study abroad return home with new ideas and perspectives about themselves and their own culture. The experience abroad often challenges them to reconsider their own beliefs and values.
6. IEP expands your world view. Students who study abroad return home with an informed and much less biased perspective toward other cultures and peoples.
7. IEP gives you the opportunity to break out of your academic routine. Study abroad is likely to be very unlike what you are used to doing as a student. You may become familiar with an entirely new academic system and you will have the chance to take courses not offered on your home campus.
8. IEP enhances employment opportunities. The world continues to become more globalized and multicultural experience on your CV will make you stand out from other applicants. Through an employer's eyes, a student who has studied abroad is self-motivated, independent, willing to embrace challenges, and able to cope with diverse problems and situations.
9. IEP can enhance the value of your degree. While abroad, you can take courses you would never have had the opportunity to take on your home campus.
10. Studying abroad is the best way to learn a language. There is no better and more effective way to learn a language than to be immersed in a culture that speaks the language you are learning. At present there are opportunities for non-English speaking countries under the ERASMUS exchange programme.